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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    I am the only one who finds the following disturbing:

    Surely, judges should not be in the business of supporting any particular skater, but judging fairly what they see in front of them?
    The part I liked even better was
    "It makes no sense to pull them off the playing field and vote them in as USFS President. We should put an experienced administrator in the top job and keep our valuable ISU officials judging and/or refereeing. Conflict of interest keeps them from doing both at the same time. "

    Did he not notice the Russian federation VP was the Technical Controller for ladies event in Sochi (not to mention the Russian former federation president now general director's wife who sits as a judge)?

    Personally, I agree with him, but IMO the same conflict of interest rules need to apply to all the federations.

  2. #42
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    I think we would find that the incidence of judges acting as quasi administrators of the sport to be high in most federations or if the federations do have experienced administrators, they are bound by the decisions of their boards, which have world championship judges on them.

    For many federations, the funding or income to the sport is so low that employing experienced and balanced administrators is beyond the means to do so. Governance is problematic.

    I agree with Susan M in that there can be a conflict of interest where high level judges are also decision makers in the business of the sport, but where does good governance come from? Probably a good mix of its participants and a strong constitution that can regulate decision making that clearly spells out where those conflicts lie.

    There are not too many federations where ISU judges sit in decision making positions that would vote to minimise their own power.

    Having said that, it was an eye-opener to watch an international rhythmic gymnastics meet last year where there were some coaches of the athletes were the judges. That blew my mind somewhat.

    Then again, the ISU has an ageing speed skater as it's President. Saying he was a speed skater..... Is a term to be used loosely. He was beyond an internationally competitive age when short track became part of the ISU and when it did, Italy was a not a big player in short track.

    I applaud Joe for having his say in this forum. No reader needs to wonder what he, as an international judge, is thinking on this subject.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Visaliakid View Post
    I find this argument against Ron Pfenning to be a non-starter. The ISU cannot and should not have any say as to the person elected as President of any of it's member federations/associations. U.S. Figure Skating elected presidents are not often/if seldom the ISU Representative to the council. The current USFS representative to the ISU is not President Pat St. Peter. The idea that Ron Pfenning could not successfully lead the USFS in it's National programs and goals because he no longer is a member of any standing within the ISU, is simply preposterous!
    Go here for the rest of the story: http://static.isu.org/media/116016/e...r-pfenning.pdf
    Last edited by Morry Stillwell; 04-24-2014 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Establish Link
    Morry Stillwell

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morry Stillwell View Post
    This is the ISU's version of events, and their reasoning in assessing the "facts" is clearly biased in favour of a particular outcome. If the decision is premised on assertions such as the ISU having "democratic rules" for internal change, it doesn't have much credibility.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae35 View Post
    Having said that, it was an eye-opener to watch an international rhythmic gymnastics meet last year where there were some coaches of the athletes were the judges. That blew my mind somewhat.
    I think my favorite was the alpine skier whose grandfather set the course he was to compete on. Actually, I think alpine skiing is one of the worst, as the course is always set by coaches from one federation or another. It is especially impressive that they manage to generate such patently obvious conflicts of interest when it isn't even a judged sport.

    To me, there needs to be some basic conflict of interest standards set by the IOC that cuts across all sports, especially since the folks in a position to tighten up those rules in each sport are not likely to do so since they are also the ones currently enjoying the dual benefits of such conflicts.

    To me, it is a fundamental question of fair play. When people decide to become international skating judges or off-ice officials like referees or controllers they need to step away from their federation responsibilities to eliminate those conflicts. I don't buy any argument that some federations are so small there aren't enough people to staff the federation without using judges or controllers. The truth is more likely that there is an old-boy (and girl) network of cronies who just don't want to let anyone else in because they think themselves superior. If a country has rinks and skaters and coaches, there are people available to train into those functions.

  6. #46

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    But wouldn't coaches running federations have even more serious conflicts of interest?

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    This is the ISU's version of events, and their reasoning in assessing the "facts" is clearly biased in favour of a particular outcome. If the decision is premised on assertions such as the ISU having "democratic rules" for internal change, it doesn't have much credibility.
    It is a only report of the actions taken and the results of court actions. A Federal court upheld the actions results.
    Morry Stillwell

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    But wouldn't coaches running federations have even more serious conflicts of interest?
    There is that perception, which I think is misplaced. If there is a conflict, it can't be in degrees.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morry Stillwell View Post
    I take the document seriously, but I do find Article 21 funny . . .

    21. The evidence before the Council and copied to the Persons in support of the facts stated
    above and of the alleged breach of eligibility is the following:
    1) WSF Constitution . . .

    12) QandA with Ronald Pfenning published on www.goldenskate.com . . .

    25) Nevada Registration Papers as included as part of Form 1023 IRS
    APPLICATION mentioned in Paragraph 11 of this decision.)

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morry Stillwell View Post
    It is a only report of the actions taken and the results of court actions.
    "Court" actions? The document is titled "Decision of the ISU Council". The ISU council is not a court.

    A Federal court upheld the actions results.
    Link to the decision, please.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    "Court" actions? The document is titled "Decision of the ISU Council". The ISU council is not a court.

    Link to the decision, please.
    Article 25 states:

    The President of the ISU Mr. Ottavio Cinquanta explained as a preliminary statement that this hearing was taking place before the executive body of a Swiss Law association, that the hearing was to be conducted under Rule 102 paragraph 7 as ad hoc proceedings, in accordance with due process requirements mandated by Swiss Law . . .
    In also states about Pfenning's attorney, Benjamin Kaplan, that:

    Mr. Kaplan then presented his argument which was that the Council was at the same time judge and party, that it had a long history of pre-judgement, that the facts did not support the charges, that the charges were not specified, that the ISU had no power to declare his client ineligible since he had resigned before the announcement of WSF. . . .
    My non-expert opinion is that after this, Pfenning would probably have had to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport then the Swiss Federal Tribunal. However, these actions, if successful, probably would not have improved his ability to do productive work as a skating official at the international level.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 04-24-2014 at 09:03 PM.

  12. #52

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    According to ISU Communication no. 1390 (May 2006), Pfenning, Jackson and Furst-Tombor did not file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), whereas Garden, Lindgren and Stapleford did and the latter 3 lost their CAS appeal: http://static.isu.org/media/115824/i...on-no-1390.pdf
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  13. #53

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    The President of the ISU Mr. Ottavio Cinquanta explained as a preliminary statement that this hearing was taking place before the executive body of a Swiss Law association, that the hearing was to be conducted under Rule 102 paragraph 7 as ad hoc proceedings, in accordance with due process requirements mandated by Swiss Law . . .
    The executive of a law association is not the same thing as a court, as in a regional, state or national court. And following the generally accepted principles of legal proceedings does not make a hearing into a court hearing either.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    The executive of a law association is not the same thing as a court, as in a regional, state or national court. And following the generally accepted principles of legal proceedings does not make a hearing into a court hearing either.
    I understand your comment. I imagine the reference was made to this documentation of Pfenning's due process under Swiss Civil Code because Pfenning chose not to go to court.

  15. #55
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    I believe Skating Skills, Performance and Artistry should be the three key elements.
    Oh no, he used the 'a' word. *shakes head*

    Component scores need tightening up. They need clarifying and there should exist some kind of practical system for judging them should because at the moment all you get is very vague guidelines and no system at all, which results in judges using them as if they were ordinals, for lack of better options.

    I think that using nebulous concepts like 'artistry' (what does that even mean? ) only contributes to figure skating's image as 'not a real sport.' What makes figure skating a sport, as opposed to art forms like dance or ballet is that it's supposed to reward specific skills.

    (P.S. Keep your grubby fingers away from my transitions! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Only in USFS circles would someone say in 2013 with a straight face, "IJS is here to stay."
    There aren't any better alternatives being proposed by anyone, at least not to my knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    To me, it is a fundamental question of fair play. When people decide to become international skating judges or off-ice officials like referees or controllers they need to step away from their federation responsibilities to eliminate those conflicts. I don't buy any argument that some federations are so small there aren't enough people to staff the federation without using judges or controllers. The truth is more likely that there is an old-boy (and girl) network of cronies who just don't want to let anyone else in because they think themselves superior. If a country has rinks and skaters and coaches, there are people available to train into those functions.
    Figure skating is an extremely small world. It's a niche sport with relatively few people being involved. The same people will very often be judges and federation officials, coaches and technical panellists, technical panellists and federation officials. If that wasn't possible, then figure skating would probably not exist.

    As for you not buying argument that some federations are so small, there aren't enough people to 'staff the federation without using judges or controllers,' some federations employ just one person. Or are run pretty much entirely by volunteers. Even if theoretically there could be some people who 'could be trained into those functions,' there might not be many people who are willing to have all this hassle, especially for no pay at all. Realistically, you are not going to care enough to get involved unless you are an 'insider' (whether the money is involved or not). When I worked at a dance NGO, everybody there but me was a former/current dancer/choreographer.

    This situation should be acknowledged, because it's the reality. Of course there should be clear ethical guidelines in place to somehow navigate this the best we can.

    If you perceive judges being federation officials as a conflict of interest, I am surprised you seem to regard coaches being federation officials as acceptable. I can think of many potential conflicts of interest that the latter situation could result in, most obviously the said coaches' skaters getting preferential treatment.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 04-25-2014 at 02:08 AM.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Figure skating is an extremely small world. It's a niche sport with relatively few people being involved. The same people will very often be judges and federation officials, coaches and technical panellists, technical panellists and federation officials. If that wasn't possible, then figure skating would probably not exist.

    As for you not buying argument that some federations are so small, there aren't enough people to 'staff the federation without using judges or controllers,' some federations employ just one person. Or are run pretty much entirely by volunteers. Even if theoretically there could be some people who 'could be trained into those functions,' there might not be many people who are willing to have all this hassle, especially for no pay at all. Realistically, you are not going to care enough to get involved unless you are an 'insider' (whether the money is involved or not). When I worked at a dance NGO, everybody there but me was a former/current dancer/choreographer.

    This situation should be acknowledged, because it's the reality. Of course there should be clear ethical guidelines in place to somehow navigate this the best we can.
    You sum up the issues and challenges well, Ziggy.

    It would be interesting to know, for example, how many of the current ISU member federation presidents are currently international or ISU figure skating and/or ice dance judges.

    ETA my count: AUS (assuming C. Taylor is same person?), AUT, BUL, CAN, CZE, RUS, SLO, SUI, SWE, USA (if Auxier is elected next month).
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-25-2014 at 09:12 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  17. #57
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    I also like how Ziggy has summed it up.

    I think it is ok for national presidents (or board members) to be international judges. But precluding national office holders from judging or officiating at worlds and Olympics would be well worth considering.

    If the judge is a national president or any national office holder, they would not be able to officiate at ISU Championships. Their status as an ISU C'ships judge could be "on hold" during their term of office - with a time limit.

    This effectively removes a conflict of interest and would stop some officials holding their federation positions for potentially decades AND judge ISU Championships.

  18. #58
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    And wouldn't it be good to include husbands,wives and partners of elected officials into my above post?

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae35 View Post
    And wouldn't it be good to include husbands,wives and partners of elected officials into my above post?
    No.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    No.
    Why not? I'd enjoy hearing opinions on both sides if there's actually a well-thought out argument involved.

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